Unfortunately, Indianapolis Colts all-time great Reggie Wayne wasn’t elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 on Saturday’s NFL Honors night—despite spending his second year of eligibility as a finalist once again for a consecutive year.
CUTTING FROM 15 TO 10
Five candidates were eliminated with the first vote: Linebacker Sam Mills, defensive end Jared Allen, cornerback Ronde Barber and wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Torry Holt. No real surprises there, except perhaps Allen. He was an unknown coming into this debate, mostly because he was a first-ballot candidate and a pass rusher with a lot of sacks. In other words, he was Jason Taylor in 2017. Taylor went to the top in one vote. He had 139-1/2 career sacks. Allen, with three-and-a-half fewer (136), did not.
Both wideouts were presumably hurt by ex-Detroit Lions superstar Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson being among the distinguished members of this year’s Hall of Fame class—as it’s rare for two players at a position to get in a lot of times (unless they’re no brainers).
Although the Colts Marvin Harrison, who was a ‘no brainer’ first-ballot anyways (one would’ve reasonably thought), had to ridiculously spend two years waiting because there was a logjam at wide receiver ahead of him.
“[He] was a Super Bowl Champion, NFL First-Team All-Pro, 2x NFL Second-Team All-Pro, 6x NFL Pro Bowler, and NFL receiving yards leader.
In his 14-year NFL career—all with the Colts (2001-14), Wayne had 1,070 receptions for 14,345 receiving yards (13.4 ypr. avg.) and 82 receiving touchdowns.
Wayne ranks 10th all-time in receptions (1,070) and receiving yards (14,345) respectively, as well as 25th (tied) for receiving touchdowns (82).
Always a fan favorite, ‘Reg-gie, Reg-gie’, Wayne was incredibly sure-handed, a precise route runner, ‘Mr. 3rd down’ to consistently move the sticks, and had a knack for making clutch catches—when the Colts needed them the most.”
Wayne also helped successfully bridge the Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck eras of Colts football—having been a locker room leader and top performer under both starting franchise quarterback regimes.
Reggie also ranks 3rd all-time in playoff receptions (93), 5th all-time in playoff receiving yards (1,254), and 9th (tied) for playoff touchdown receptions (9) respectively.
The fact that he’s been a finalist for both of his two years of eligibility bodes well for the fact that Wayne should ultimately get enshrined into football immortality one day—with his own personalized bronze bust.
While he won’t get to receive his prospective golden jacket along with his former Colts teammates: Peyton Manning (Class of 2021) and Edgerrin James (Class of 2020) this summer, Wayne should hopefully (and rightfully) join them in Canton, Ohio some day soon.